The one thing that i just can't figure out is this.
GSP is a guy that strives to do what is best for his career. He tries to win taking the least amount of damage (though ending it early would also have that effect, there is just more risk). He does all the necessary diet and training regimens. He cuts weight properly. He seeks out the best coaches. He follows his gameplan to a tee. He keeps his personal life in check though to not lose any sponsors. Does all the PR
the UFC requires. He's soft spoken and respectful (bar diaz). And ultimately, he wins all of his fights by domination.
What most of that comes down to is his mental toughness. There is certainly nothing at all wrong with any of it, in fact, it's pretty much perfect to be a sports icon. Buttttttt, this is my perspective. Each one of GSP's fights eats at his mental toughness. Serra made him realize he could be knocked out, Hughes made him realize he could be submitted, hardy made him realize he still doesn't have his submission game perfected, koscheck made him realize he can be taken down, shields made him realize he could end up getting poked in the eye, alves made him realize he could hurt himself, and (i believe) Condit made him realize sometimes you can't break a fighters will.
All of that sounds absolutely crazy doesn't it? You would think with his performances he would look at it as "I overcame all of these things" but it just seems like he's mentality isn't like that. I also think he's obsessed with perfection. And of all of those things, while just little things to us, are HUGE things to him.
And that's why, though fighting anderson and beating him is no doubt THE BEST thing for his career, he doesn't want to have to change what he's doing right now at 170. He doesn't want to risk having a bad cut, there being a freak accident, him getting knocked out, him getting submitted, anderson not giving up, or him not being able to capitalize on a submission and most importantly having to start the whole perfection process over if he did end up losing because of any of that.
GSP is a worrier and is VERY human in regard to what's possible.